Appearance: American black bears, despite their name, may appear brown, tan, or even white. During the winter, these large, powerful creatures can weigh over 500 pounds before they enter a state of dormancy called torpor, which helps them conserve energy while food is less abundant. Long, powerful, non-retractable claws make them excellent climbers, an necessary skill in the search for food and safety.
Range: The black bear can be found throughout North America, particularly in forested areas. Their home range may expand to more than 5,000 acres for a single bear and often overlaps with others.
Diet: Black bears are innovative omnivores, making “bear-proofing” a serious task for many local homeowners. In the wild, these bears forage a variety of grasses, fish, berries, fruits, nuts, insects, small rodents, birds, and eggs.
Uno was wild-born in January 2004, but he was removed from the wild at a young age for unknown reasons. He was donated to the WNC Nature Center in 2006 because he had imprinted on humans and could not return to the wild.
Uno loves to play! He will splash in the pool, run through his habitat, and climb his climbing structure and trees for fun. The bear that lived here before him, named Zero, inspired Uno’s name.
Like Uno, Ursa was wild-born in February 2001, but she was also removed from the wild for unknown reasons and never learned the necessary survival skills to live in the wild. She was donated to the WNC Nature Center in fall 2002.
Ursa keeps her distance from Uno during the summer, but they enjoy sharing a den together in the winter. She is named for the Ursa Major family of star constellations, which is Latin for “great bear.”